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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:11 pm 
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The following started out as a response for the Kusari thread but continued growing. This is why I am posting it separately.
Note: I am not going to link my references. If I did, I never would be done.

On Kusari:

There are, of course, many similarities between Oasis and Kusari. Both are extremely skilled fighters, though neither is invincible. Both also have superhuman reflexes and have extraordinary healing abilities. Both also have resurrective immortality. Both also drive corvettes with personalised license plates. Schlock has mentioned that "the differences are paramount". He is likely referring to the differences between Oasis and Kusari.

Oasis has been able to express a wide range of emotions, both when commanded to, and of her own volition. We have seen surprise, (possibly feigned) concern, jealousy, despair, happiness and anger. Conversely, Kusari seems almost completely dispassionate. She does claim to be "confused" rather than "jealous" when reminded of the project to reclaim Oasis but it is unclear if she actually is feeling any emotion. She is implied to have some relationship with Sasha but did not have any emotional response to Sasha being thought of as a traitor. She is described by Dr Schlock as "literally only [having] a heart". It is also unclear if Kusari was actually afraid when she was running from Bun-bun.

One common theme when Kusari interacts with Oasis, or is contrasted with Oasis, is her need to express her own superiority. There might be some degree of sibling rivalry. There is also the possibility that Kusari is jealous or is insecure when the comparison is made or implied. The inference I draw is that Kusari might feel emotion to a very limited degree but cannot express it; Oasis can feel and express the full range of human emotions.

Oasis is implied to have more ability to learn. She underwent training with Feng with the object of knowing herself. She also learnt that there were innocents within House of Cheese and found a way to work around Override B-1 to avoid slaughtering them.
Kusari's ability to learn seems more limited. For example, Dr Schlock was surprised (and annoyed) when he found out that Kusari had finally learnt sarcasm. Kusari also acknowledged “not [being] good with symbolism”.
In the same vein, even at Dr Steve’s base, Oasis has already shown that she had more leeway in interpreting her commands than Kusari. She was ordered to bring Torg’s head to Dr Steve and did so with it still attached to the rest of Torg’s body; Kusari likely would have brought Torg’s head detached from his body.

Killing seems to be the preferred method of solving problems for both, but Oasis seems to have more ability to come up with alternatives, even as early as “Fire and Rain”. (Yes, trying to win Torg over by looking like Zoe is indeed an alternative to killing Zoe. The fact that Oasis defaults to trying to kill Zoe as her solution of choice is irrelevant.)

Kusari was described as a "finite resource" from which we can draw the inference that Oasis isn't. Interestingly, Kusari only is resurrected when an order is given and that process takes a lot longer than Oasis’s resurrection. I have some further thoughts on this subject but will post more on that elsewhere.

Kusari is aware that she is a tool, describing herself as being a tool for Dr Chen and now returning to being a tool for Dr Schlock. She always knew that she was following external commands. Oasis was unaware that she was a tool herself. She only, gradually, became aware that she was following external commands much later. Related to that, while Oasis has been described as a "tool" herself, it is clear that she was intended to become far more than just that. Dr Steve clearly wanted to see Oasis develop a personal relationship by herself and as her own person; Kusari has yet to show that she can do anything even approximating that.

I have asserted more than once that Kusari has more “flaws” than Oasis does but have not stated the reason for that till now. Kusari has less ability to express emotion, less ability to learn and less ability to adapt. She is less capable of personal growth and no further meaningful improvement is possible. By contrast, Oasis is capable of growth on many levels and is thus far less limited. She is also the only one of the two that can become human and, just possibly, more than human.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:13 pm 
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(Okay, I'm not posting these in the listed order)

On Sasha:

I have held that Sasha is also another attempt to recreate the Oasis project. In this case, the effort was directed towards making her a spy. In this, Hereti-corp probably were more successful than in their efforts with Kusari. We have already seen Sasha infiltrate the gang, both before “Dangerous Days Ahead” and during Torg’s time with Minion Master. We also have seen her as Sally Johnson where she infiltrated the senator’s entourage to sabotage his opposition to Hereti-corp.
Others have questioned why Sasha remained loyal to Hereti-corp. My assertion is that, since she was a construct similar to Kusari, she was subject to the same loyalty programming. Unlike Kusari, she was able to express, or at least mimic, a wider range of emotions and was able to disguise her lack of emotional responses when she had to.

As an aside, it is unclear about how capable Sasha really is in a fight. She definitely was pulling her punches at times but definitely showed some ability when she needed to.

The timeline is a bit fuzzy. It seems that Sasha had infiltrated Torg’s operation around the time that she was also married to the senator’s aide. There could be more than one Sasha in existence at any point in time but a more likely explanation was that Sasha had cover stories for when she was absent. It would take a lot of effort to make sure they were kept straight but she seems to have managed. The first case could only be possible if Sasha was a construct; the second would also be easier if she was one.
I have speculated in the past that Sasha has died and come back to life in two instances that we have seen. The first was when she was stabbed by Cloney and the second was when Sam broke her bonds at Monicruel’s base. In this case, the process was almost instantaneous. This process could be similar to how people are “reset” in 4U City but leaves Sasha’s mind intact.

The above could still be the case but another related possibility has come to mind. Sasha and Kusari are both constructed entities but both have to be created together. For whatever reason, Kusari cannot be resurrected in the field even if Sasha possibly could. This means that a Sasha entity has to be destroyed (or at least present) when a new Kusari entity needs to be created. Since Sasha is presumably active elsewhere, recalling her could be very difficult. The process could also take some time which means that Sasha would not be fulfilling her intended espionage role. And time is also a finite resource.

This actually fits the timeline. Keeping Sasha in her role as Sally Johnson was of supreme importance when Kusari was killed by Lord Menelaus: at that point, she was needed for Hereti-corp’s efforts to take over NASA. That meant that she could not be recalled (or destroyed) as she was “in play” at a critical juncture.

An extension of the above thought is that Oasis’s body (or at least part of it) needs to be available for that process to occur. That would account for Hereti-corp’s interest in retrieving Oasis’s head from the Canadian Mob and could be another reason for Kusari being a finite resource.
(Funnily enough, Sasha said “cross my lung” and Kusari was described as only literally having a heart.)

My inference is that Kusari and Sasha are siblings, much in the same way that Oasis is their sibling. All three are constructed but Kusari and Sasha were created to either improve on Oasis or to replace Oasis. The latter seems more likely as Dr Steve supposedly stole the Oasis Project from Hereti-corp. These attempts were clearly only partially successful.  

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:14 pm 
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On Harbinger:

It seems that Harbinger is a fusion of Oasis and Kusari. We do know that she has the kind of absolute loyalty that Kusari has. She is able to resurrect herself almost immediately after death in the way Oasis does rather than the long delay needed for a “replacement” Kusari. And yet, it seems that Harbinger is only activated by command, just like Kusari’s resurrection needs to be ordered. This suggests that Harbinger is a fusion of Oasis and Kusari with the characteristics chosen to suit 4U city’s (and by extension Hereti-corp’s) requirements.

We didn’t see Harbinger enough to draw any strong conclusions as to how able she is to express emotion but I think that her emotional states are more controlled than Oasis’s. At the same time, Harbinger likely possesses Oasis’s ability to learn and to adapt.

Harbinger’s appearance is close to Oasis’s, likely intentionally. We haven’t seen Kusari without a mask but I would guess that Oasis is more “aesthetically pleasing”.

Harbinger is useful as she is an extremely skilled in hand to hand combat and is able to move quickly enough to dodge gunfire. Like Oasis, she is vulnerable to sniper fire (probably because of surprise), but like Oasis, she also is resurrected almost immediately. This function is exceedingly useful. My conjecture is that Harbinger can be resurrected at a chosen location as well – this makes her a frighteningly useful tool in a strategic sense, doubly so in that her death is not permanent and thus there is no loss even if she is killed.

My conjecture is that the composite entity that is Harbinger operates under constraints that limit her potential compared to Oasis. She is limited in the amount of interaction that she can have with others. She seems outwardly human but her role is protecting 4U city and its executives. Any growth that she has is directed only to improving her ability to do that. In short, she remains exclusively a tool rather than a person.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:18 pm 
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On Oasis:

It seems clear to me that Dr Steve had greater things in mind for her. He likely felt that Oasis was capable of far more than just being a tool for Hereti-corp, or anyone else, and that she was capable of becoming a person rather than just a tool. She does struggle against considerable constraints but, unlike the others mentioned above, she is expected to overcome these constraints in time. This is the key element and is why Harbinger is a dead end.

Dr Steve’s overall motives therefore become somewhat less clear. He did steal Oasis from Hereti-corp and did train her. He also is likely responsible for Override B-1, which to me is likely protective and intended to keep her from Hereti-corp and thus from being made into Harbinger.

Oasis might well have been intended as a tool of revenge. It is possible that Dr Steve intended, in part, that she be directed against Hereti-corp. But he also intended Oasis to become a person and thus, in a sense, become human. This is important for some unspecified reason. The sheer amount of effort that Dr Steve put into Oasis does suggest that she is intended for some greater purpose as it is disproportionate to even those two objectives.

One interesting feature about Oasis is that she is capable of art, abstract and otherwise. In other words, she is capable of creating as well as killing and is capable of creating of her own volition. This already sets her apart from both Kusari, who knows that she is a tool, and Sahsa who explicitly stated ‘I don’t have a “Tinker-y” bone in my body’.

Oasis exists outside the web. This will be significant in the future. I believe that this has something to do with K’z’k or whatever we’re calling him today. “The Destroyer” is bound to the web; this implies that he can be destroyed but only by something “outside the web”. Or, that he will eventually be replaced as a pillar of reality by something “outside the web”. Oasis will play either a key role in finally defeating “The Destroyer”, replace him as a pillar of reality, or, just possibly, both.
I am also of the opinion that Dr Steve, Sin’thea La’mort and Dr Chen were all involved in Oasis’s creation. What isn’t clear is whether she was found and then made into Oasis or whether she was created from scratch but I am in favour of the latter given Dr Steve’s description of her being “a controlled mind made human”. It is likely that the three of them had a falling-out at some point but it is not clear when, why or how.

Others have speculated that Oasis is a rebirth of Sin’thea. While that is possible, I find it more likely that Oasis was made to look like Sin’thea because of her vanity – we have already been told that she “is a bit of an egomaniac”.
As an aside, I think that Theresa is the “proto-Oasis” and was created first. If she was created later, it would have been far less likely that Dr Chen would know to refer to her as Ms Slaughter. Three possibilities come to mind for Theresa. The first is that she was intended to be Oasis but failed in some way. The second is that she was created to “test” the means by which Oasis would be created. The third, and least likely, is that she was intended as the control in some bizarre experiment that we have not yet been told about.

Dr Chen and Dr Steve have already been shown to have been involved in Oasis’s childhood; Sin’thea hasn’t but the significance of that is unclear. She could have been present but not mentioned or she could have actually been absent. What is likely is that Sin’thea is responsible for whatever magical abilities that Oasis might have - we have already seen pyrokineses which is more likely to be magical.

We know that Dr Steve trained Oasis and was responsible for the “rebirth facility”. Sin’thea likely played some role involving magic. What Dr Chen was responsible for has not yet been made clear. He was important in getting her to Orsintos and for later experiments at Hereti-corp. He might have been responsible for testing Oasis's nascent abilities to make sure she met "requirements".

I maintain that Oasis was initially programmed to hunt and kill. She did have a small amount of leeway, as I mentioned above, but she still defaults to killing as her preferred solution. She admitted to Feng that she only knew how to kill him but not hit him. She obviously was able to learn to hit someone without killing them as she later would knock Katie out at the train station. This again, shows her ability to learn, something that we have yet to see from Kusari.

This also leads into my thoughts about Oasis being regarded as “innocent”, a topic that we have debated about for a great deal of time. Oasis was programmed to be a killer first and foremost – that means that she would see killing as her primary option, and possibly her only option, in many circumstances. We have seen in one situation what would happen where she had to explicitly choose between killing and not killing: her efforts to work around “Override B-1” whenever she encountered a “House of Cheese” where she found a way to focus on the sign and nothing else.

That leads to the distinction between guilt and innocence in this context: choice. Oasis made a choice when she went after the Zalias to protect them. She did so in the only way she knew: by killing their Hereti-corp pursuers and then by killing villains for money. Note that she only targeted villains, more or less in the fashion of a traditional “anti-hero”. That also was a choice and one that she made within her own mental constraints.

Oasis did indeed start out as an insane monster, but that was not of her own choosing. She is trying to move beyond that in her lucid moments and she often fails: her going after Zoe in bROKEN is one example (though seeing Feng get shot did not help). But she is still trying to make that choice and is doing so from an initial mindset that means that even an improvement would still make her seem monstrous to just about anyone else. It is this fact, in this context, that Torg would indeed see her as innocent; it has been strongly implied that Chaz would be “powered up” only by the blood that came from people that his master would regard as innocent.

The information we have about Oasis is very incomplete. Nonetheless, many inferences can be drawn from what has been shown so far. Many of those that I have come up with are stated above and I have mentioned others in the Oasis thread. She is a created entity that is striving against absurd limitations but when she overcomes those, she will become far more than just a tool for anyone. What she will become, and how correct I will turn out to be, remains to be seen.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Sometimes I think Harbinger is what Oasis might have become without the original encounter with Torg etc.
And equivalent of "Know yourself" in the DoR could have resulted in honing herself until she became the emotionless and efficient defender in 4U City.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:47 pm 
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randomlanguage wrote:
Sometimes I think Harbinger is what Oasis might have become without the original encounter with Torg etc.
And equivalent of "Know yourself" in the DoR could have resulted in honing herself until she became the emotionless and efficient defender in 4U City.


I've always assumed Harbinger is what Schlock intends Oasis to be once he has her under control.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:34 am 
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erewhon wrote:

I've always assumed Harbinger is what Schlock intends Oasis to be once he has her under control.


I think that makes sense too. After all, Harbinger had been under Schlock's control in the DoR.

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